Scaffold/matrix Attachment Regions and Intrinsic DNA Curvature

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Recent approaches have failed to detect nucleotide sequence motifs in Scaffold/Matrix Attachment Regions (S/MARs). The lack of any known motifs, together with the confirmation that some S/MARs are not associated to any peculiar sequence, indicates that some structural elements, such as DNA curvature, have a role in chromatin organization and on their efficiency in protein binding. Similar to DNA curvature, S/MARs are located close to promoters, replication origins, and multiple nuclear processes like recombination and breakpoint sites. The chromatin structure in these regulatory regions is important to chromosome organization for accurate regulation of nuclear processes. In this article we review the biological importance of the co-localization between bent DNA sites and S/MARs.

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